Cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 agrees to $4.6 billion acquisition


KnowBe4, a Florida-based company that helps public agencies and other organizations strengthen their cybersecurity protections, said it agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partnersthe latest example of private equity activity in the government technology industry.

The deal involves a cash transaction of around $4.6 billion, according to a statement announcing the agreement. The transaction will close in the first half of 2023, the company said.

KnowBe4 has worked with Aurora, Illinois, and other governments to increase internet security through courses and other measures.

“This acquisition by Vista represents the next phase of our journey,” Stu Sjouwerman, Founder, President and CEO of KnowBe4, said in the statement. “KnowBe4 has a strong track record of performance, as evidenced by our market-leading platform and global customer base. Under Vista ownership, we will have access to additional resources and support, which will help us achieve our objectives and to provide added value to our customers.

The company provides services such as security awareness training and a phishing simulation platform to more than 52,000 organizations worldwide. The deal comes as there is a growing focus on cybersecurity, as more local and state governments become increasingly digital, and officials prepare for elections this fall.

Additionally, the deal comes as government technology in general absorbs more investment from private equity firms, as the sector is seen as relatively safe and low-risk.

As for Vista Equity, it manages at least $94 billion in assets and has a portfolio of 85 companies, according to a recent Yahoo Finance Interview with Vista CEO Robert Smith.

“Enterprise software is still considered the most productive tool introduced to the business economy in the past 50 years, as it will be for the next 50,” he said in this interview. . “So in an environment where there’s wage inflation, lack of development talent, challenges from cyberattacks, companies in many cases are actually increasing their spending on enterprise software.”


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